Get ready – the rare Halloween blue moon is upon us!

Halloween is on its own a very special holiday that is so different from the others.

While most holidays celebrate life, joy, and family bonds, All Saints’ Eve is all about skeletons, ghosts, and other creepy symbols of death.

However, this year, it is going to have something even more special about it. To be honest, it is hardly unexpected – it seems that 2020 is a year of surprises and unusual happenings of every kind.

This Halloween, we will have the chance to witness an astronomical phenomenon called the blue moon.

This celestial event happens every two and a half or three years. It occurs when one calendar month has two full moons, so this is how the second full moon is referred to. This month, we already had a full moon (so-called ‘Harvest Moon’) on October the 1st.

In reality, the phenomenon is not extremely rare, but what is unusual about this year’s blue moon is that it will take place on All Hallows’ Eve.

Kind of eerie, don’t you think? When you even hear the phrase ‘Halloween blue moon’, I bet you imagine creepy dark silhouettes of ghosts and witches on their broomsticks floating across a huge blue lunar disc.

Well, in the realm of fantasy and art, it would certainly look this way. It’s no coincidence that so many typical Halloween pictures depict a full moon! It certainly adds a good dose of spookiness to the landscape.

In reality, though, the moon won’t actually turn blue on All Hallows’ Eve. However, it is still going to be something beyond the usual full moon. This celestial event is considered to be quite uncommon since, according to the so-called Metonic cycle, a blue moon happens on Halloween every 19 years.

The Metonic cycle describes the patterns in the phases of the moon and was discovered by the ancient Greek astronomer Meton. He was the first to notice that the lunar cycle repeats itself and full moons occur on the same dates every 19 years.

Moreover, another unusual trait of this year’s Halloween blue moon is that it will be visible worldwide. The last time it happened was in 1944, during the Second World War, so the upcoming celestial event is indeed very rare!

I don’t know what plans you have for this Halloween and whether it is going to be the holiday we all know. Due to social distancing measures, there may be certain restrictions for gatherings and celebrations. But whatever you do, don’t forget to take a look at the night sky to enjoy the special blue moon!

Anna LeMind, B.A.

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This Post Has One Comment

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    Carol J Marshall

    Anna, loved your “blue moons” article. It is enlightening, Carol

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